Author Topic: Car Totaled - Ideas on Good Used Car to Replace it?  (Read 306 times)

seventytimes7

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Car Totaled - Ideas on Good Used Car to Replace it?
« on: November 12, 2017, 06:43:35 PM »
Hello fellow Mustachians! I could use some help figuring out a good used car to replace my beloved (now likely totaled) civic.

Today was not a great day. My car was rear-ended by a hot-shot sports car, who apparently didn't think much of me stopping to let a pedestrian use the clearly marked crosswalk.  A sickening crunch and three hours later, I brought my beloved 2007 honda civic home, worse for wear.  I've had this car since college, it is paid off, runs wonderfully, is relatively safe, and gets gas mileage. 

For most of the last three years, I didn't use my car much, since I walk to work and my friends all live easy walking/biking distance. But as if the accident was divinely designed to mock me, I closed on my first home last week and my parents moved an hour south of me a few months ago.  While I anticipate riding my bike or taking public transit to work most days from my house, I work late nights leaving work anywhere from 8pm-11pm at night and I visit my parents frequently (no public transit out that way).  I could always justify keeping my car because (1) it was paid off and (2) my carrying costs were less than $75 a month (insurance, gas, and maintenance).  I had planned to keep using her for least three more years or until she finally gave out.

Now my poor car is likely totaled.  My car is likely not worth more than $3.5k (KBB puts trade in value anywhere from $2k-$3.4k and buying it from private party at $4.5-5.5k).  The damage is likely more than 75% of the value: (1) Cosmetic damage; (2) the air bag appears compromised, i.e. its bugling weirdly; and (3) the car makes weird sounds when the clutch is disengaged.

If my car can be fixed, I'd rather just keep it, but from my research that may not be wise from both a safety standpoint and a financial stand point.  Anyone have ideas on best used cars? Where to find them? What to look for? I wasn't prepared to even start this search for another three years.  I don't want spend much more than $10k (less would be better since I just bought a house).  In true Mustachian form, I will NOT FINANCE A CAR.  Honestly, I just want the insurance company to give me exact car back. I would buy my exact car used, but I worry about finding a good one, considering age and mileage. How do I know they've kept it in good condition?  I know that some on the forum have discussed great deals on used nissan leafs, but I worry about the range of the car for longer trips (maybe I should let that go).

Any help would helpful. Thanks to anyone who read all of this. I'm just a little emotional and bummed out. 

ketchup

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Re: Car Totaled - Ideas on Good Used Car to Replace it?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2017, 07:24:05 PM »
My vote for a replacement would be a 2010ish Hyundai with ~60k. They’re silly cheap for what they are, and Hyundai makes good reliable stuff nowadays (My 2009 Accent lasted to 262k).

Syonyk

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Re: Car Totaled - Ideas on Good Used Car to Replace it?
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2017, 11:10:05 PM »
You got rear ended and didn't hit anything in front of you?

The clutch is probably fine...  Same with the airbag.  They kind of either go off or don't.  There isn't really a middle ground.

Any chance of damage pics?  If the alignment isn't off, I'd personally just beat the dents out (or pull them out with a chain), take the insurance check, and keep driving it.  If the alignment is a bit funky in the rear, see how it drives, see how far off it is, and budget a bit more for rear tires.  As long as it tracks straight and isn't too far out of whack, there's no real harm in driving around with a smashed up rear end.  Obviously the car still runs.

Pics?
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lbmustache

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Re: Car Totaled - Ideas on Good Used Car to Replace it?
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2017, 10:42:42 AM »
there's no real harm in driving around with a smashed up rear end

Hmm, I dunno about this. If you get rear-ended again, it's going to be a lot more ugly since the crumple zone is pretty much gone. Now, if this damage is repairable to you OP (e.g. no frame damage or anything else major) then it might be worth it to see if you can get it fixed up for a decent price.

With that said, $10k can get you almost anything pretty nice. As the above poster mentioned, Hyundai's are generally pretty reliable. I personally hated driving the Accent but they are very well-priced on the used market. A Mazda3 or Camry (if you want to go larger) can also be options.

ketchup

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Re: Car Totaled - Ideas on Good Used Car to Replace it?
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2017, 11:07:44 AM »
I personally hated driving the Accent but they are very well-priced on the used market. A Mazda3 or Camry (if you want to go larger) can also be options.
I may be physically biased, but a plug for the Accent specifically: if you happen to be tall (at least long torso'd), that '09 Accent was truly the best post-2001 car I've ever driven in the visibility department, which I value quite a lot.

There are larger Hyundai options too, of course.  Hyundai in particular used to make pretty shitty cars, so they still depreciate like crazy, despite making rather good cars now.  Makes for an excellent 5-7 year old buy.

Lulee

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Re: Car Totaled - Ideas on Good Used Car to Replace it?
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2017, 12:06:47 PM »
I loved my Hyundai Elantra which I ran until the rust got too bad and wished I bought the Accent instead of my Kia Rio5 which was a bit cheaper and has had odd issues like the lock inside the steering wheel breaking (it locked the front end so the tow truck had to haul it sideways down hill to get it on the truck, wrecking the alignment) which has threatened to recur.  That said, I'd prefer a Civic or Honda but for the price, it's hard to beat the Hyundai.

seventytimes7

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Re: Car Totaled - Ideas on Good Used Car to Replace it?
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2017, 08:23:03 AM »
Thanks for all the useful replies! Syonyk, my car did get pushed 6 feet forward, but thank god I didn't hit anything in front of me! The pedestrian was in a different part of the crosswalk otherwise this huge inconvenience could have been a huge tragedy.

I won't know anything for a couple weeks about insurance since I no longer carry collision (since the car is not worth much) and the other driver was aggressive when asked about his insurance.  I just let the police handle it.  It'll take a least a week for the insurance company to get the report.

In the interim, it appears okay to drive. I still need to get it checked out. If its safe to drive, I'll continue to drive it (fix what needs to be fixed) and deal with the cosmetic crunched rear end. I hadn't thought about the crumple zone factor, though. I'll need to do some more research if the damage would significantly impact safety in the event of another rear collision. 

Thanks for the Hyundai info.  I hadn't considered them because you're right I thought they made not great cars, but they seem to having a ringing endorsement here. I am tall (and long torso'd) so its good to know about the Accent.

I don't know how to post pictures, but even the cosmetic damage isn't too bad. One potentially concerning issue is the bumper has slipped to cover 10% of the exhaust pipe though...